ONE of the most feared and unpredictable stars of 70s and 80s British Television and foe of famed talk show host Michael Parkinson, goes up for sale this month at Chippenham Auction Rooms.

Emu, Rod Hill's puppet which cost £10,000 to make, was to be used by him on stage for a pilot TV show. However, the TV show's producer Endemol decided to use a different version of the puppet, so this one was kept in reserve.

Emu, who was once called possibly the most unpleasant, least talented puppet of all time, is being sold by a private collector from Radstock, Somerset, who kept it in his bedroom - much to his children's horror.

The 58-year-old puppet enthusiast, who is disposing of part of his collection due to a lack of room, said he wants his collection to bring enjoyment to people.

Richard Edmonds, principal auctioneer at Chippenham, said: “It’s amazing how people respond to Emu. Even when he’s just lying on the table, staff are a little wary of getting too close to him – just in case.

“There’s got to be a big market for this puppet. The original Emu was destroyed many years ago, so there may only be one other official puppet still in existence in addition to this one – and that may be outside the UK.

"It’s exceptionally well made and is in excellent condition. With the boom in nostalgia TV and a new generation of collectors who grew up in the 70s and 80s, I think we’ll see considerable interest.”

Emu is forecast to sell for £750–£1,000.

English comedian Rod Hull first used Emu on an Australian television show, then returned to the UK and established the act here. The puppet infamously destroyed the Queen Mother’s bouquet of flowers after the 1972 Royal Variety Performance and, most famously, attacked talk show host Michael Parkinson on his BBC1 programme in 1976.

During the late 1970s and 1980s, Rod Hull and Emu had a series of shows on ITV, but by the late 80s the act was losing its popularity and Hull got into debt. Rod Hull died in 1999 when he fell from the roof of his home while attempting to adjust his television aerial.

The puppet was later used by Hull’s son Toby on television and stage during the 2000s.

Also included in the sale are a set of full-size Punch and Judy puppets and 12 marionettes made by Pelham Puppets from Marlborough, Wiltshire during the 1950s–1980s.

The collection will be auctioned at Chippenham Auction Rooms on Thursday, May 31. Public viewing is on Wednesday, May 30, 4pm–8pm and Thursday, May 31 from 8.30am.

For more information on the auction please contact The Chippenham Auction Rooms on 01249 444544 or visit